The needle biopsy circumvents many of the disadvantages of the open muscle biopsy, which include higher costs, the need for general anaesthetic, increased scarring and the inconvenience of repeated biopsies (Goldberger et al. 1978; Edwards et al. 1980, 1983). The fact that many of our patients and control subjects have participated in several studies involving muscle biopsies emphasises that this technique is easy to learn, repeatable and relatively atraumatic. It is a safe procedure that is almost free of complication. As repeated biopsies are generally well tolerated, biopsies can be taken before, during and after acute or chronic intervention, e.g. insulin stimulation, lipid infusion, exercise, treatment with drugs, training etc.
There is always a slight delay in freezing the specimen. This can lead to inaccuracy in the determination of some muscle metabolites and cause areas of artifact formation, making morphological studies troublesome. Nevertheless, most analytical methods are probably not influenced by this slight delay in freezing (Bergstrom 1975; Edwards et al. 1980, 1983). On the other hand, we have observed that non-muscle contaminants of skeletal muscle samples create considerable variation in assays, including measurement of insulin signaling events. Freeze-drying of muscle specimens allows dissection and purification of the muscle from non-muscle contaminants. This may reduce within-biopsy variation and hence the sample size needed, and improve analytical precision. Prior to freeze-drying and purification, biopsies of human vastus lateralis muscle have been shown to contain between 1 % and 40 % non-muscle contaminants (Korsheninnikova et al. 2002). Insulin signaling events can be reliably assessed in freeze-dried muscle specimens that are free of non-muscle contaminants.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...